The Pivot Conference: Your Questions Answered, Part 2 by briansolis


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									The Pivot Conference: Your Questions Answered,
Part 2
By Brian Solis, industry-leading blogger at and principal of research firm
Altimeter Group, Author of the highly acclaimed books on social business The End of Business
as Usual and Engage!

As the host and editorial director for this year’s Pivot Conference, I asked early registrants what was
on their mind. I received a fair amount of questions and wanted to share the answers with you here
in case you’re thinking about similar topics. Here’s part 2 of 3. You can read part 1 here.

What 3 things are mandatory when building and sustaining a community?

The first thing is to realize that consumers most likely do not want to build a community with you. As
horrible as that may sound, it is your opportunity to learn what people want and need to join and stay
engaged in a community dedicated to your business. There are several new studies that show what
businesses think customers want in social networks and what customers actually want. They are in
fact, on opposite ends of the spectrum. The top three things they expect are tangible value,
discounts promotions and exclusive offers/opportunities, and the ability to purchase or access that
opportunity within the social network of choice. What they do not want over the long haul is random
engagement marketing or administrative updates such as polls, questions, etc. They are starting to
complain and as such, unfollow/unlike brands who pollute their news feeds.

With ‘Choice’, comes large amounts of pressure for brands to “rise above the clutter.” What
is one key element the brand should remember?

Not to sound overly complicated, but because social media is inherently social, people are in control
of their own online experiences. Everything must be reverse engineered starting with two things: the
people you are trying to reach, and what it is they value. Choice is the keyword as you said: you
have it, I have it, and in many ways, we are the people we are trying to reach. I recommend ‘a less is
more’ approach rooted in user-defined intelligence before engagement. What people want and how
you connect the gap between that want and your value proposition is yours to define.

Will 2011 be the year that game theory within social media jumps the shark?

Before I can answer, I can’t believe that Happy Days culture is still alive. When will jumping the
shark finally jump the shark? I believe that in social media as anything jumps the shark it means it’s
starting to take a strong foothold within the mainstream. This is good because that means we, as
everyday people, have a say in the direction of new media and more importantly, how we discover,
share and learn. Game theory and gamification hold promise in how people interact with information.

(cc) Brian Solis, - Twitter, @briansolis
When used as a mechanism for interactivity, where people walk away with a sense of value, then
the future is bright for game theory. Badgeville is testing frameworks for improving visitor
engagement and readership on websites and blogs. Fangager is boosting interaction in Facebook.
There are also other examples that are moving beyond the simplicity of gaming for the sake of
gaming. It will make for better website experiences, for more enriching exchanges in social and
mobile networks, and I believe it will also help reinvent our education system. Seth Priebatch of
SCVNGR offered a glimpse of what the future of game theory holds in our culture at this year’s
SXSW. You can read more about it here.

About Pivot

The Pivot Conference is designed for brands and their agencies and will take place October 17th
and 18th in New York. This year’s theme focuses on an important shift in marketing as brands
respond to “The Rise of the Social Consumer.”

If you’d like to join us, you can register here. Please use SOLISVIP for a special 20% discount.
Contact Mike Edelhart at to inquire about sponsorships.

For more, please read our first report, “Brands Pursue the Social Consumer.”

(cc) Brian Solis, - Twitter, @briansolis
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is
globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published
authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and
influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and
culture. His current book, The End of Business as Usual helps companies rethink
business strategies to lead, not react to, the new consumer revolution. His previous
book Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and
measure success in the social web.

Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+ | Youtube
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(cc) Brian Solis, - Twitter, @briansolis

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